Code Vein – Preview
Follow Genre: Survival, RPG, Action
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publlisher: Namco Bandai
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Code Vein – Preview

Good: Anime Dark Souls, Swap styles on the go
Bad: Not much is known about the plot
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Rating: 8.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Code Vein is a project that has been delayed several times in the past, not because of major issues but because the fanbase was so strong the developers wanted to put more work and effort into creating the perfect title rather than delivering a half-finished project (which is a recurring issue these days). We had the honor to test an early build of the game that showed a bit of the story and gameplay together with a dungeon mode.

Not much is said about what the story behind Code Vein is. We get introduced with the character creator and a quick but heavy tutorial at first. After that, we get dropped into the battlefield that seems to be a post-apocalyptic infected wasteland. We have many questions about the plot or the setting, but for now we had to work with what we were given. We first spot our main two characters out in the open, when they decide to rest due to an injury, their life changes as they get captured by a patrolling group. The surface-world isn’t safe anymore, forcing people to wear gas-masks. It seems a virus has spread across the globe, forcing people to reside underground. People talk about blood beads that must be collected, why is still a mystery, but hopefully this will get explained once we have our hands on the full game.

You can best describe Code Vein as an Anime Dark Souls game. Every character has this typical Japanese look and clothing options will let the game look like “Boko No Darku Solsu”, which is just a pleasant, colorful way to create your warrior. The many colors that you wear are in sheer contrast to what is going on outside. With disease rampaging through the streets, you get this mixed style of Kawaii, Gothic and Steampunk. Your character looks cute with a Steampunk gasmask while working your way through Gothic inspired landscapes.

Although it may all look grim, the music adds depth to the game. This beautiful vocal music straight from the land of the rising sun will remind you of those magnificent anime intros from your favorite show. For some this music is mesmerizing, while for others it may get a bit repetitive after some time.

The most amazing part of the game is the gameplay. Code Vein is definitely a Dark Souls-like game as it feels and plays like one. However, there are some tweaks done in order not to carbon copy the whole concept. The first new gameplay factor you notice are the Blood Codes, these possess the abilities of specific fighters. These Blood Codes allow you to switch your fighting style on the go. Do you need to mow down some strong enemies or do you need some extra ranged attacks? Swap them out without the need of a vendor or checkpoints. Safe places in this game are Mistles, these zones will refresh you and you can do all the things from the Souls genre, from leveling to assigning skills and much more. Mistles will also sketch out the map of the nearby area, so it’s very helpful to cleanse these (they are corrupt at the start). Maybe the most interesting new gimmick is the full co-op mode, players can get the help of a friend to aid them from start to finish or can rely on an A.I. controlled one that will give you (depending on the other’s skill) better or worse help.

In this epic adventure of getting the blood beads, you will meet the enemy faction ‘The Lost’, and no, it’s not the biker gang from Grand Theft Auto. These creatures were once humans and were consumed by the virus that is taking the streets by storm. As you will be in conflict with these beings most of the time, you must be well-armed to take them all out. A large array of weapons and armors will heighten your chances of survival and if it happens that you bite the dust, your friend can always revive you once, so you are down but not out.

In this beta we had the luck of trying a short part of the storyline as well as a dungeon mode. The latter gave us the possibility to fight against all the enemies we encountered and try out a real boss fight. With some serious grinding and training, we must say that it won’t be a walk in the park.


Code Vein is an interesting title in the Souls genre, with a fresh take on co-op and changing fighting styles on the go. Death isn’t always the end as you can get revived by a friend and this will give players that extra push to go forward. With its very loveable setting and the developers working hard on creating the perfect title, we are looking forward to its full release later this year.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Code Vein – Preview, 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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